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CTDW Awards Gala recognizes tennis talent, hard work in "The Big Easy"

January 15, 2012 02:18 AM
By Nicholas J. Walz, USTA.com

NEW ORLEANS -- Each year a Community Tennis Development Workshop serves to both teach coaches, volunteers and organizers about the future and honor the recent past - and with the latter in mind, the annual CTDW Awards Gala dedicates the Saturday evening dinner hours to acknowledge the exemplary men and women who fuel tennis at the community level.
The evening's festivities were hosted by Dr. Melissa Harris-Perry, professor of political science at Tulane University, MSNBC contributor, columnist for "The Nation" magazine and author of "Sister Citizen: Shame, Stereotypes, and Black Women in America," as 10 individual or group awards were honored for their superlative efforts in the year 2011.
Among the recipients of the "NJTL of the Year Awards" were three National Junior Tennis and Learning (NJTL) providers:
- Central Texas Tennis Association, operating out of Austin, Tex. with an annual budget of less than a $50,000.
- Mary and Frances Youth Center/Lobs & Lessons, Richmond, Va., with an annual budget between $50,000 and $350,000.
- Fred Wells Tennis & Education Center, St. Paul, Minn., with an annual budget exceeding $350,000.
Two outstanding tennis coaches from the Northeast - Jim Neal from Niskayuna, N.Y. and Jim Solomon from West Hartford, Conn. - were selected as the 2011 USTA Starfish Award winners. This national award recognizes high school coaches who implement a "No-Cut" policy for their tennis teams.
The Community Tennis Association (CTA) of the Year Award, honoring a registered CTA for outstanding services rendered, went to the Houston Tennis Association of Houston, Tex. The HTA was selected from a pool of approximately 1,200 community tennis associations from across the country for its tireless commitment to growing tennis in its community.
Justin DePietropaolo of Chester Springs, Pa., has been selected as the recipient of the 2011 Janet Louer USTA Jr. Team Tennis National Organizer of the Year Award. The award is given to an individual who positively influences children’s lives and substantially makes an impact on his or her community.
Tennis for Fun, based in Tampa, Fla., has been awarded the 2011 USTA Adaptive Tennis National Community Service Award. The award is given to a program or program leader that has demonstrated continued excellence, dedication and service in tennis for an adaptive tennis community.
Cindy Harkins of Longwood, Florida was selected as a 2011 USTA Eve F. Kraft Community Service Award recipient. The Eve F. Kraft Community Service Award is given to individuals who perpetuate Kraft’s mission to bring the game of tennis to everyone who wants to play.
Rita Gladstone of Port Orange, Fla., was selected as the recipient of the 2011 USTA Recreational On-Court Trainer of the Year Award. Gladstone was chosen from the USTA’s team of trainers who promotes the growth of tennis through exemplary on-court training, assists the national office with the direction of this program, and is very well connected with their Section’s efforts.


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